Another July 4th is upon us. Many of my neighbors are hoarding up on the fireworks, the barbecue specialties, and the booze. “Its Independence Day” they exclaim...“This is America, with much to celebrate!” Yeah, right!
Too bad most of America is oblivious to the Downing Street Memo. A few years back, almost one half of those polled thought that Clinton should be impeached from office for lying about sex. Never a Clinton supporter, this writer laughed at the presumptiveness of the charge. Now, after all the conspiracy theorists (including yours truly) have been jeered and jawed at, we come upon these British memos that pinpoint the lies and treachery of the Bush administration- and its media apologists. Folks, to paraphrase my Brooklyn pals, “we wuz scammed!” Over 1,700 of our young soldiers are dead -- tens of thousands are scarred for life. By some estimates, over 50,000 Iraqi non-combatants are either dead or severely wounded -- translated: they hobble on one leg, have lost vision, are arm less, homeless, sick from impure water, and have no source of income. “War is hell” Rumsfeld and his ilk lecture us in rebuttal. Well, for anyone who lies and deceives and schemes us into a fake war, hell is where that person belongs. To my evangelical friends, that would suffice any spiritual debts owed. Here on earth, however, the culprits need be tried and convicted of “high crimes and war crimes... crimes against humanity.”
As the fireworks go off on the 4th, and the beer is guzzled, and flames engulf the meat, will my neighbors ask themselves a few questions? Like, “Do I have health coverage, and what if I or my loved ones get really sick? Should the government do anything to make things better? Could the $300 billion from our treasury for this war in Iraq have been used to make life here at home better? What happens when the war, with the deficit it initiated, starts to cause massive job layoffs? What will happen when companies keep moving factories and facilities offshore to save money? What happens when this real estate 'bubble' finally bursts, interest rates rise and I cannot afford the mortgage, car payments, gasoline prices…?”
This July 4th should not be a day of celebration -- rather for introspection. Instead of enjoying those beautiful fireworks, and the bellyful of treats, folks should take time out to do something many have given up on doing for too long: Think! Think about who profits from war, and who does not. Think about what this country needs, economically, to have its citizens survive and prosper. Finally, to ponder what Miss Liberty said as the mantra of our great nation: “Give me your tired and your poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free....” Let's make July 4th, 2005 the starting point of our independence from the greedy, the liars, the deceivers, and the theft of our democratic republic.
Philip A Farruggio is a freelance writer, small businessman and community activist. Brooklyn NYC born and bred, he is the son and grandson of Brooklyn longshoremen. A graduate of Brooklyn College (Class of '74), Philip has had over 50 political columns published in various newspapers and online sites since the 2000 elections. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
Related 4th of July Commentaries
Mourn on the Fourth of July by Norman Solomon
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